on distance

12 08 2007
lately, i’ve been thinking a lot about distance, which is why i’ve been writing about it. i’ve also been collecting those bouncy rubber balls which cost nothing more than a buck, but that’s neither here nor there, is it?but there’s been a lot of new distance which hadn’t been there before, in particular between the people who, suddenly, seem like strangers to each other. this is many more times painful than the people who have never spoken to one another, but perhaps not. what matters is that the pain is worse simply because the knowledge is there that things could be different. in “green mile,” one of the rightfully-accused prisoners becomes willing to promise and do anything at all to get a cup of ice-cold cola. he doesn’t know that the cola has been ‘fiddled with,’ all he knows is that it’s cold and sweet, the perfect thing for such a blistering, hot day. if he’d never had it before, he wouldn’t be yearning for it, panting for it, thirsting for it.

i’ve heard people say that what we don’t know won’t hurt us, and while it’s unethical in most contexts this saying is used in, it’s also quite true.

(after all, cliches and other, similar, kinds of sayings did not come about from being fictional.)

surely if the closeness hadn’t formed in the first place, the loss of it would not be as painful?

i read recently that we were made to be in community with one another, and that is why we have a desire to live near other people, in spite of what we may say or pretend to feel. we were also, i believe now, made to be in community with our Maker. that is why at first, we do not know what we lack, and when we do find out, it is with the sudden realisation that something fundamental has been missing all along: the perfection and the beauty of the confusing, exhilarating maze that is life. and when the missing element that is elemental in all aspects is in place, things start to make sense, and relationships and connections that had been far from comprehension will become closer than ever imagined.

so if God is brought back into this distanced bond, maybe it will stop hurting.